Flames get good news on Mike Smith’s lower-body injury

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The Calgary Flames have dodged a bullet as goaltender Mike Smith’s injury isn’t as bad as initially feared. While the 35-year-old Smith will miss the next two games, when the Flames return home for a two-game set this weekend he’ll be considered day-to-day.

“Sometimes that mental rest is good, too, along with the physical stuff that he’s going to heal up,” said Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan after Tuesday’s morning skate in Boston. “He is a workhorse. But we’re just happy with the news. Everyone is pretty relieved that it wasn’t more serious.”

Smith injured his lower-body at the end of regulation during Sunday’s game against the New York Islanders, and it looked real, real bad.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MffJ2yejbIk%5D

The Flames currently hold the third spot in the Pacific Division two points behind the San Jose Sharks. But losing Smith for an extended period of time may not have been the deathknell that might doom other clubs.

As Christian Roatis of Flames Nation broke down this morning, Gulutzan having to rely on No. 2 goalie David Rittich hasn’t meant a decline in success. The 25-year-old Czech Republic native will get to continue his fine season Tuesday against the Bruins and possibly Thursday against the Nashville Predators.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.